Thanksgiving Gratitude 2014

Better Late than never….

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I love Thanksgiving! It is truly my favorite meal to make of the year, not because we have the same traditional things, but because it’s tradition to be together with my family. I am so glad we get to keep this tradition alive and thriving with my nieces. This Thanksgiving was also my brother’s birthday, so it was an extra-special occasion.

 

My sister and I braved the grocery stores on Wednesday morning so I could get all the ingredients for a meal that pretty much fed us for what seemed like a week, but that’s the best part of Thanksgiving–cook for a day or two and then either just reheat and eat or think of something else to do with the rest. I’m glad my sister came with me to the grocery store because I really dislike having a cart and having to maneuver one when the stores are super crowded, so she took care of that for me, which was a great help! Thanks, Keek.

 

So after a few stops and various places with enough groceries to just pack the fridge almost to explosion, I had a good idea of what we were going to enjoy. I’m not the type of person to ponder the menu a month or even a week in advance, I just looked at the ingredients and made things, which is my favorite way to cook. I’m grateful I have a family that pretty much let’s me have full reign over what we eat for Thanksgiving, trusting and knowing I’ll make those traditional dishes that they like each year while incorporating some new ones.

 

So here it is, Thanksgiving 2014 from Unrivaledkitch. I hope your families and friends feasted over great food, good company and tons of togetherness and gratitude. I’m grateful for all of you who take a gander at my food musings, for all the support, and I wish you a very happy holiday season.

 

Here are the past 4 years of Thanksgivings documented on Unrivaledkitch.com I love that these memories are here for me to look back on.

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Thanksgiving 2014 Menu

 

Celery Root Soup with Spicy Sausage, Crispy Pancetta and Roasted Brussels Sprouts

Herb and Citrus Brined Turkey with Roasted Vegetable Turkey Gravy

Celery, Scallion, Olive, and Zucchini Turkey Stuffing

Mashed Potatoes

Candied Yams with Bruleed Marshmallow

Green Bean Casserole with Fried Onions

Roasted Asparagus

Roasted Mushroom Medley with Fresh Thyme and Garlic

Red Potato Gratin with Button Mushrooms, Roasted Leeks, Kale and Parmesan Mozzarella Bechamel

Granny Smith Apple,Green Anjou Pear and Melted Date Cranberry Sauce

Crookneck Yellow Zucchini, White Zucchini and Green Bean Casserole with Celery Root Cream and Sausage

Hot Pumpkin Bread Pudding with Raisins and Granny Smith Apples with Brown Sugar Caramel Cream Sauce, Vanilla Bean Ice Cream and Whipped Cream

 

Mom, Dad and Grandma’s Contributions

Honey Baked Spiral Ham

Deviled Eggs

Spinach Dip, Pimento Cheese, Green Onion Dip and Vegetable Platter and Crackers

Bachan Jello

Pumpkin Pie

Carrot and Banana Muffins
What a delicious feast! Thank you everyone for sharing in this gratitude filled holiday.

Cheers

Unrivaledkitch

Nobu LA

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Brandon and I have been to Nobu Malibu, Matsuhisa and just recently Nobu LA. Needless to say, we are big fans of these amazing restaurants and since our first trip, back in 2007, Brandon’s mom, Lyz, has wanted to go to one of Nobu’s restaurants. Well, seven years later and we finally took her. Better late than never! Hopefully the next time she has something on her list we won’t have to wait so long, but I’d definitely say Nobu is a special occasion restaurant for us and you need about seven years to save up for the kind of meal we enjoyed, but it was well worth every penny.

Nobu LA

Nobu LA is on North La Cienga Blvd in the heart of Hollywood and many amazing restaurants, so what makes it stand out? A very reputable and proven menu as well as detailed and sophisticated service keeps us coming back. We had an extremely rich, luxurious and multifaceted meal that proved to be one of the best meals we’ve had in a very long time. There are always the traditional Nobu dishes that we order, but we tried a good sampling of new items as well, and everything was masterfully executed.

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Nobu LA is modern and elegant with an interesting  flow of seating in two separate areas. The Sushi Bar is brightly lit with gold light fixtures hanging above the traditional bar-style seating. The side room has dimly lit ambiance with a mixtures of booths and tables for small groups and medium-sized parties. A sea of servers, busboys and other assisting staff pace the room, waiting for a glass to fall to half and picking up the slightest dirty plate. We had two servers during the evening. Both gave personal details as to which dishes they liked best, had a really great grasp of the menu, and explained everything very well.

 

The food was presented in a very traditional Nobu-style with gorgeous Japanese plates and extreme attention to detail. Each dish was described as it was dropped off and if there were directions on how to best eat the dish, they were thoroughly explained.

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We started off with edamame and drinks. I had Peruvian Caipirinha Pisco, Fresh Lime, Shiso & Ginger Beer. I really like Caipirinha’s and this one was exceptional. They used an ample amount of fresh lime, which was refreshing and the ginger beer was spicy, but not overpowering. Lyz had the Champagne 95, which was really light and refreshing as well.

 

Here’s the list

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We started with Oysters with Nobu Salsa. Kumamoto oysters are on the smaller side, but they were extremely clean and really fresh.

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Toro Tartar, which we’ve had every time we’ve been to Nobu. It’s delicious and extremely decadent. Fresh Yuzu and caviar round out the flavor.

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Truffle Albacore with crispy artichokes and dry miso

One of my favorite dishes of the evening. The artichokes is a little deceiving, but the dish is still really delicious. Truffle sauce is luxurious and deeply flavorful.

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Live Scallop (Hotate) Tiradito

Thinly sliced scallop served in the tiradito-style with peruvian flavors of cilantro, spice and Japanese fusion elements. The abductor is also thinly sliced on the plate, giving contrasting flavor and texture.

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Tuna Tempura Roll

This is a bit of a strange dish. It was explained well, so when we got it, we weren’t completely surprised. The tuna is rolled with nori and inside is asparagus and micro cilantro, then the tuna is lightly fried “tempura”-style with no real tempura on it at all.  Then it’s plated in a deep, rich miso yuzu with tomato. Interesting, in a way that is not really what anyone envisioned, but still, the fish and sauce were a unique balance.

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Wagyu Tacos

These are misleading, unfortunately. Our server said that he really enjoyed them and maybe as a server, getting free mini Wagyu tacos, they are good, but for $7 for a tiny taco, we would pass next time. They weren’t bad at all, it’s just that we could have spent that money on another, more impacting and wowful dish. Skip the wagyu tacos.

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Kurobuta Pork Belly

This was one of my favorite things the whole night. Amazing Kurobuta Pork Belly that was braised to absolutely melt-in-your-mouth perfection, topped with crispy leeks and Shiitake mushrooms. The sauce was really rich in flavor, almost to the point of salty, extremely deep soy flavor.

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Tempura Sweet Potato

I know it’s just tempura, but I just love this sweet potato. It’s so crispy on the outside and perfectly cooked on the inside and the Tempura sauce is just the right balance of saltiness. So simple, but so perfect.

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Mushrooms with Wasabi Salsa

This is a huge plate of assorted Japanese mushrooms, really well roasted and topped with Wasabi salsa that was very mild, almost reminiscent of celery with Ponzu. Varying textures and flavor from the mushrooms was a good compliment to the pork.

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King Crab Amasu

King Crab tempura with Japanese sweet and sour sauce. We’ve had this before and for good reason, it’s really good. The crab is crunchy and sweet, while the sauce is spicy, but still mild with the herbaceousness of cilantro and freshness of slivered red onion. Perfect every time.

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Kinme Tiradito

Golden Eye Snapper Tiradito Japanese Snapper is delicate and extremely fresh. Clean, traditional and elegant preparation.

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Rock Shrimp Tempura

Another classic dish that we wanted to share with Lyz. The spring mix on the bottom is dressed in a yuzu dressing and the rock shrimp are super tender inside and really crispy on the outside. The dish is addicting.

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Seabass Jalapeno Salsa

Another extremely delicious preparation. The Seabass was perfectly cooked, flaky and moist, with just the right crust and sauce. Roasted mushrooms and mild jalapeno salsa completed an incredible meal.

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We couldn’t finish without dessert, so we decided on Kamameshi Halo Halo and Claudis Carrot Cake. The halo halo was a really interesting and unique dessert of vanilla rice pudding, mochi pearls, puffed soba, sweet red beans, jack fruit, nata de coco, macapuno and purple yam, mango and coconut gelato. All the elements were really tasty, but it has to be eaten quickly or else the fire under will heat everything too much.  We really enjoyed the carrot cake. Caramelized pecans, mascarpone mousse, ginger malaga ice cream, and salted caramel–really delicious and wonderful.

 

Overall, it was a meal of a lifetime. Some definite highs and a couple of lows, but nothing at all that wasn’t delicious. We had a really incredible time and the service and food were simply fantastic. Happy Birthday, Lyz! We hope you had a stupendous birthday and we are so glad we were able to celebrate with you at Nobu!

 

Thank you, to the brilliant staff and wonderful chefs at Nobu LA. We truly enjoyed every bite.

Nobu LA

www.noburestaurants.com

903 North La Cienega Boulevard
Los Angeles, CA 90069

 

Cheers!

Unrivaledkitch

Beautiful Bountiful Body Retreat from Judgement

 

kimberly fujitaki yoga BBB

I’ve had a few weeks to reflect and enjoy the memories and events that took place  during our Beautiful Bountiful Body Retreat from Judgement at Lido Palms in Desert Hot Springs. This week has been such a busy week of staying in the moment, being present to the flow of opportunity and really being intentional and authentic in my actions and words. I’m truly blessed to be exploring such amazing opportunities in my career and life.

 

I managed to wear my yoga pants and chef coat at the same time. This has been a dream of mine since I stepped away from the professional kitchen and onto the yoga mat full-time. My love of culinary arts will never leave me, nor does it have to. I am at home in the kitchen, just as I am on my yoga mat, which feels like a tremendous honor and privilege to be able to express my passion for union through culinary arts, asana, pranayama, meditation and mindfulness.

 

When the amazingly talented Thea Pueschel (artist of living, body positive yoga instructor and hypnotherapist) asked me to venture out into the desert to look at the venue where we would be holding the yoga retreat, I honestly didn’t know what was going to happen. From walking around the space and seeing the rooms, I knew that I would be able to make amazing meals there because if there is one thing you learn from working in a professional kitchen, it’s that you don’t need much to make a great meal. I’ve cooked using camp fires, tin cans, hot plates, 20-burner ranges, expensive gas ranges and electric stove tops, but the thing is, they all can be used in ways that produce amazing food.

 

So we took a gamble. After we drove a few hours away, we talked it over and agreed that we should give it a go. Thea made the big moves and put herself out there with the intention and desire to be of service and that’s just what she did. Just a few short months later and we were one room from being sold out! It was an amazing showing of how perseverance and hard work truly pay off.

BBB Yoga practice

The healing mineral water pools and warm desert climate made for the perfect October evenings. Thea offered insightful workshops and yoga sessions, including her signature detox to retox, yoga nidra and gentle practices to soothe and aid the body in compassionate, body positive and deeply connected practices. She also acquired the amazing reiki skills and compassionate body positivity of Adriana Franco, who conducted mini reiki sessions with all of the attendees and offered her graceful wisdom and heart felt conversation and connection with us all. Women from all over joined us and truly met themselves on the mat as they were, with open hearts and open minds. This was truly a retreat from judgement and a gathering of powerful intention to love ourselves deeply and practice self-care.

 

My menus were designed with many things in mind. Even with dietary restrictions, we all cared and nourished our bodies in abundance, which is what Unrivaledkitch is all about. We are more than the things we aren’t and that is what we have to focus on. Many of us seem to highlight the things we can’t do or things we don’t do, instead of celebrating the things we can do and will do, and for me, this goes for food as well. Whether you can or can’t eat something, I always strive to find accommodations for people to nourish their soul and I truly felt that this was accomplished. The menu was a plant-based seasonal vegetarian meal with a variety of vegan options. Here are the menus I created for this special Unrivaledkitch event for the Beautiful Bountiful Body Retreat.

 

Beautiful Bountiful Body Retreat

Special Fall Menu Prepared by

Chef Kimberly Fujitaki of Unrivaledkitch

BBB Welcome Dinner

Welcome Dinner

Cheese Plate

Vegetarian Honey Goat Cheese, Red Leichester, Pere Brie and Gorgonzola

Crudite Platter of Raw Seasonal Organic Vegetables

(Vegetarian, Legume-Free & Grain-Free)

 

Fresh Organic Heirloom Tomato, Basil & Garlic Flatbread BBQ Pizza

with Buffalo Mozzarella Cheese and Parmesan

(Vegetarian includes Grain and Dairy & No Cheese Option)

 

Grilled Mediterranean Vegetable Skewers

with Oregano, Basil and Red Pepper Flakes

(Mushrooms, Bell Peppers, Eggplant, Zucchini)

(Vegan, Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free, Legume-Free & Grain-Free)

 

Autumn Pear Salad

Organic Living Lettuce with Balsamic Vinaigrette

Shaved Pear, Walnuts, Pink Beets and Cucumbers

(Crumbled Blue Cheese on the Side Vegetarian Option)

(No Cheese Vegan, Legume-Free & Grain-Free )

 

Grilled Fall Fruits with Whipped Cream & Cinnamon

Pears, Persimmons, and Apples

(Whipped Cream on the Side Dairy-Free Option)

Welcome Dinner BBB


 

Beautiful Bountiful Body Retreat

BBB Breakfast table

Breakfast

 

Homemade Breakfast Pumpkin Cookies

with Pepitas, Raisins, Cranberries and Whole oats

(Vegan Dairy-Free includes Wheat and Oats)

 

Soy Yogurt

(Vegan includes soy)

 

Greek Yogurt

 

Vanilla Granola

(Contains Wheat and Oats)

 

Dried Fruit & Nuts

 

Whole Grain Toast

with Organic Peanut Butter, Almond Butter, Peach Jam

and Organic Mixed Fruit Jam

(Includes Wheat and Oats)

 

Fresh Fruit

(Bananas, Oranges, & Apples)

 

Tea/Coffee

 

Green Smoothies

(Kale, Ginger, Apples, Strawberries, Oranges, Banana & Spinach)

BBB breakfastBBB Practice


 

Beautiful Bountiful Body Retreat

BBB Lunch Table

Lunch

 

Grilled Vegetable Tacos

Assorted Chopped Grilled Veggies spiced with Cumin and Coriander

Zucchini, Peppers, Squash, Broccoli & Cauliflower

(Vegan, Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free, Legume-Free & Grain-Free)

 

Soyrizo Potatoes

(Vegan, Contains Soy, Gluten-Free)

 

Served on Corn Tortillas

 

Taco Bar Includes

Pico de Gallo, Roasted Jalapenos, Cilantro and Onions,

Lettuce, Guacamole and Cheese

 

Cumin-Scented Mashed Organic Black Beans

(Cheese on the Side Vegan Option)

 

Fire-Roasted Red Pepper Organic Spanish Rice

with Roasted Corn and Tomatillos

(Vegan)

 

Fresh Fall Fruits

Pomegranates, Persimmons, Apples, Pears

BBB Lunch


Beautiful Bountiful Body Retreat

BBB Dinner table

Dinner

 

Spaghetti Squash “Pasta” & Polenta

 

Roasted Vegetable Sauce

with Butternut Squash, Sweet Potatoes, Zucchini,

Carrots, Celery and Onions with Olive Oil,

Garlic, and Fresh Basil

Walnut Pesto with Parmesan Cheese

 

(Spaghetti squash, No Pesto Vegan Option

Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free, Legume-Free and Grain-Free)

(Vegetarian Option Polenta with Pesto includes Dairy)

 

Spinach Salad

Roasted Brussel Sprouts, Cherry Tomatoes,

Avocado, Cucumber and Sherry Vinaigrette

(Vegan Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free, Legume-Free & Grain-Free)

 

Roasted Fall Vegetables

(Vegan Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free, Legume-Free & Grain-Free)

 

Seasoned Grilled Tofu

(Vegan Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free)

 

Green Tea & Homemade Pumpkin Bread

(Vegan)
BBB Dinner dishes


 

Beautiful Bountiful Body Retreat

BBB Brunch table

Brunch

 

Mini Vegetable Frittatas

with Mixed Vegetables and Roasted Jalapenos

(Vegetarian, Gluten-Free, Legume-Free & Grain-Free)

 

Autumn Vegetable Hash

Butternut Squash, Sweet Potatoes, Acorn Squash,

and Zucchini with Fresh Herbs and Spices

(Vegan, Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free, Legume-Free & Grain-Free)

 

Vegan Sausage

(Vegan includes Grain, Gluten, Barley, Red wine)

 

Fire-Roasted Potatoes O’Brien

with Peppers, Onions and Spinach

(Vegan, Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free, Legume-Free & Grain-Free)

 

Fresh Fall Fruits

 

Fresh Berries with Yogurt

 

Lemonade and Iced Tea

bbb brunch


 

I was also privileged to teach my signature Deeply Rejuvenated Restorative Yoga practice. Restorative Yoga is such an important practice for self-discovery and self-study. We learn from stillness that our body can gain a tremendous benefit from slowing down, resetting our nervous system and replenishing the oxygen supply in the blood.  Under the beautiful star-filled sky, we offered out our intentions and connected with the inner authenticity as we breathed and let go deeply. This was truly one of the highlights of my yoga teaching thus far and I was truly privileged to teach such an amazing group of empowered women, relaxing and leaving the practice deeply rejuvenated.

Restorative Yoga KFY BBB

The weekend ended with laughing, tears, joy, and for me, a sense of accomplishment, hard work paying off and extreme gratitude for this opportunity to blend my two favorite things in the whole world. I shopped, catered, packed, cooked, cleaned and repeated these steps many times throughout the weekend and I know I will do it again. I am truly humbled by this amazing experience and I hope you’ll join us on our next yoga retreat.

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I want to thank all of the wonderful ladies who came to practice in the desert with us for a retreat from judgement. And of course, an extra special thank you to the amazing Thea Pueschel for bringing me along on this wonderful journey.

 

Namaste!

 

Kimberly Fujitaki

Executive Chef/ Owner

www.unrivaledkitch.com

Yoga Instructor

www.kimberlyfujitakiyoga.com

 

The Final August Birthday Chapter: Dad

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My dad shares his birthday, August 29th, with Michael Jackson, just in case you didn’t know. He always reminds me, so I thought I’d remind you too. LOL. My dad is so special to me and I’m so glad I could cook for him for his birthday. We had such an amazing eight weeks of summer hikes throughout the Santa Monica Mountains and other local places that I wanted to share some of the amazing photos he took of me and my yoga practice. Being outside and in nature is a really important part of my self-care practice and being able to share those experiences with my dad was even more amazing.
I just want to thank my dad for always showing up for me no matter what and for being so strong and stable in so many ways for our family. There is truly no one on earth like my dad and for that, I’ll be forever grateful. Our hikes have been put on hold for now, but I’m sure we’ll get back out there again and explore more spaces yet to be determined. I love you dad! For dinner, I made some truly Fujitaki staples, which I’m sure if you’ve seen my blog before, have appeared multiple times. But the great thing about those dishes is that they never get old, no matter how many times we’ve eaten them. Now that’s tradition.

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Menu
Wontons
Spam Musubi
Inari
Roasted Sugar Snap Peas, Red Onions and Wild Mushrooms
Roasted Broccoli
Tuna Sashimi
Salmon Sashimi
Japanese Rice
Fried Tofu Vegetable Curry
Roasted Pork Loin with Spicy Coconut Milk Sauce
Spicy Scallion Soy Shrimp
Bean Sprouts with Mixed Vegetables

Bachan Beef Bowl with Komoboko and Nori

cheers

unrivaledkitch

A Birthday Celebration to Remember… the perfect way to start my 29th year!

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It’s been a whirlwind of a summer, and though, by kids’ yoga standards, we are referring to the season as fall already, it won’t be fall until 9/22, so I’m sticking with summer for the moment. I had to write about my beautiful birthday celebration on August 20th with my family, because it was truly one of the most special and meaningful birthdays of my life. I am moving through a lot of transition and the stability I have from my family and friends really allows me to be fully present, vulnerable and honest about what I desire in my life. I wouldn’t be where I am without the amazing support of so many individuals and for my birthday, I felt as if I was celebrating everyone who cares about me and supports me. I taught 3 kids’ yoga classes on my birthday and they really sealed the deal with me about knowing that this is what I’ve been put on the earth to do. I absolutely love kids’ yoga and my ability to share this practice with others is truly something that has transformed my life.
My kids’ yoga company, Little Heroes Yoga, is coming alive and I’m working hard to stay accountable and honest about my intentions for serving the community I grew up in and the families throughout the San Fernando Valley.  This month I launched my first set of Little Heroes Yoga Kids’ Yoga Classes at Two Hearts Yoga. It’s a huge accomplishment and dream of mine and I hope to continue to expand and grow its offerings to further serve children of all ages. Nourishing our minds, bodies, and spirits has so much to do with what we do with our bodies as well as what we put into our bodies. Unrivaledkitch will always be an amazing place for me to share my culinary adventures and I’m so glad I’ve been able to write in this blog and learn from these experiences. I’ll always be a chef, but teaching yoga is a very loud calling for me and I’m listening.

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So, for my birthday, Brandon cooked an amazing feast for me and my family. Having a chef boyfriend has a thousand and one benefits, even when you are a chef too, and we celebrated after I taught my classes, which was just perfect. He made all my favorite things and my family’s favorites too. My sister made me a birthday hat and my nieces decorated the house. It was so special and I’m so glad we could all be together.

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Menu
Grilled Spicy Lobster
Fillet Mignon with Veal Demi
Chicken Katsu
Parmesan Grilled Asparagus
Creamed Spinach
Purple Basil and Heirloom Tomato Burrata Caprese with Fig Vin Cotto
Au Gratin Potatoes
Sauteed Green Beans with Soy Sauce
Cheers
Unrivaledkitch

Summer Time Birthday Celebrations and Mammoth

 

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It’s September. I can hardly believe it. August was so amazingly wonderful, full of gratitude, celebration, family and friends—I miss it already. I was able to go on eight weeks of outdoor hikes with my dad, a family vacation to Mammoth Lakes and to really jumpstart my kids’ yoga business, Little Heroes Yoga, as well as participate in an amazing business course about kids’ yoga called TBoKY The Biz of Kids Yoga by Jodi Komitor. I’m so grateful to have had a wonderful summer, probably one of the best ones of my life. And I’m equally grateful to have a really fantastic fall full of kids’ yoga fun lined up.

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But I wanted to highlight some of the amazing food adventures that I had in August. First of the series will be Amaya and Grandma’s birthday celebration dinner in Mammoth. I spent a total of seven beautiful days in the Eastern Sierras this year. I could have stayed for an entire month, but that’s another story. I truly am home when I go to Mammoth; the fresh air, beautiful scenery and just slowed-down pace of everything, makes it the perfect vacation for me. I’ve been going to Mammoth for my whole life and I don’t plan to stop anytime soon.
It’s so great to see the next generation of little fisherwomen come up to the Sierras with us. We really caught a ton of fish this year. I caught two pretty good sized ones and a bunch of little ones the whole time we were there. We went to a couple of new lakes: Little Virginia and Big Virginia and Upper and Lower Twin in Bridgeport, and even saw a quick hail storm.
Now, back to Amaya and Grandma’s birthday dinner. Well, the two of them have back to back birthdays and kick off our month of celebration. My sister said she’ll never have to get my mom another birthday present, mom’s present just came a day late. My mom’s birthday is August 14th and Amaya, my youngest niece, was born August 15th. My sister, brother-in-law, Maleeya and Amaya came up to Mammoth to celebrate my mom’s birthday and Amaya’s first birthday, which made it extra special for my mom and dad.

 

We had an amazing time celebrating. I barbequed for Amaya’s birthday and we all enjoyed this fun home-cooked meal.

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BBQ Tri Tip

Boiled Fingerling Potatoes

Chopped Salad

Grilled Nectarines

Baked Beans

Grilled Corn on the Cob

Birthday cake and big smiles all around. Thank you for sharing with us.

Cheers

Unrivaledkitch

Andy’s Going Away Party

Taco Bar Spread

A couple of weeks ago, Brandon and I cooked for his dad’s going away party. He’ll be out of state for work for some time so we decided it would be nice to get his friends together and enjoy company while he was still in town. Being in the military is a difficult profession and I can’t imagine what our country would be without the help of so many men and women all over the world who sacrifice so much for our safety.

So for this event we had two chefs and one kitchen. Brandon and I have worked together in some kitchen during various times for the last 7 years professionally, at home, or at someone else’s home/event. You can currently visit Brandon at Blush Restaurant and/or Blind Tiger in Santa Barbara, where he is the Executive Chef.

Though most of my time is spent cooking for my family and teaching yoga, it’s nice to prepare a large meal for wonderful people. We decided to have a massive taco fiesta. Our first go with the barbeque ended up not too successful because the grill wasn’t in working order, so we went for the simple charcoal grill that I’m used to and I grilled the food while Brandon cooked inside. I think overall it was a great team effort. Safe travels, Andy!

Menu

Carne Asada

Grilled Chicken

Chopped Seasoned Pork

Grilled Portobello Mushrooms and Zucchini

Spanish Bay Shrimp

Mixed Vegetable Sofritas

Chorizo Bean Dip

Guacamole

Salsa with Green Chiles and Garlic

Tortillas and Toppings

Dessert

Coconut Cream Pie with Bananas and Fresh Peaches

Coconut Cream Pie with Bananas and Fresh Peaches

Grilled Cinnamon Peaches and Pineapple

Grilled Cinnamon Peaches and Pineapple

Rocky Road Pudding Pie

Rocky Road Pudding Pie

Rocky Road Pudding Pie Recipe

Layered dark chocolate and white chocolate pudding in Oreo crust with marshmallows and chocolate dusted roasted almonds

1 Oreo Crust

½ cup cocoa dusted roasted almonds

1 cup miniature marshmallows

1 cup heavy whipping cream

Place cold heavy whipping cream in a small bowl. Whip with a hand mixer till thick whipped cream forms, no powdered sugar necessary. About 3-5 minutes on medium speed.

1 small box Hersheys white chocolate pudding

1 ¾ cup whole milk

Make pudding according to the box directions for pie.

1 small box Hersheys dark chocolate pudding

1 ¾ cup whole milk

Make pudding according to the box directions for pie.

Pour 1/2 of the white chocolate pudding into the bottom of the Oreo crust. Top with ½ cup of marshmallows and pour ½ the dark chocolate pudding on top. Mix the remaining pudding together and fold in the whipped cream till smooth. Top pie with the mixture and smooth into a mound. Top with the remaining marshmallows and cocoa dusted almonds. Refrigerate for one hour or more.


Cheers,

Unrivaledkitch

 

Veggies, salsa and Guacamole Mexican Inspired Catering Taco Bar Ingredients Chicken, Sofritas and Shrimp for Tacos Carne Asada and Grilled Chopped Pork

Turning 30 a month later, Brandon’s Birthday!

This blog was to memorable not to post but it is a month late. Oh well better late than never!

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We’ve celebrated birthdays all month long and just about everywhere this summer, which always keeps me busy and on my toes thinking of new ideas and different dishes to make. Having my dad’s birthday at the end of August and Brandon’s birthday on September 7, I’ve been keeping pretty busy in the kitchen. I’m so grateful that my yoga practice and teaching have been taking a great amount of my time and with the start of the new school year (I teach primarily children’s yoga with some senior and adult classes as well), it’s been a really great transition period for my life. I’m glad I can still find time for fantastic meals with my loved ones, because it’s just so important to me to always keep us all at the table together, enjoying delicious and freshly prepared meals.

Brandon’s birthday fell on a Saturday this year, which, for a chef, is the busiest day of the week, but when he could finally muster up a day off, we got together with my family for a Japanese-style sushi and rice bowl dinner. I thought of this awesome little party idea because I wanted everyone to be a little interactive with their food. I didn’t want Brandon to have to cook at all since he cooks practically every day, but I wanted him to be able to put together some sushi, have a beef bowl, and enjoy and relax with a fun dinner. So I drew up this idea at the Japanese market, Mitsuwa, in Venice. There are some really amazing things at that store; all the Japanese ingredients I need to pull off a perfect meal, which is sometimes difficult to find in the valley.

I chose different ingredients that we could all enjoy and make into little sushi rolls with small pieces of nori and ingredients such as salmon and tuna sashimi, imitation crab, avocado, cucumber, umeboshi, ginger and wasabi. I cooked thinly sliced beef in sake, mirin and soy sauce with sliced nori, kamaboko and thinly sliced egg to create my Bachan’s signature beef bowl and made beef and pork wontons with bamboo shoots, scallions and shiitake mushrooms, as well as tonkatsu (panko breaded and fried pork cutlet) and chicken katsu to enjoy. I scooped large bowls of hot Japanese rice for everyone and we made our own concoctions and combinations to enjoy. I love interactive family style food!

I always find that making these dishes connects me with my Japanese heritage and keeps these wonderful traditions that I learned from my Bachan, in our family. Japanese food takes amazing ingredients and lets them shine all on their own with little effort, but lots of care—I love that. I’m so glad I could share these traditions that are so dear to me on such a momentous day: Brandon’s 30th birthday! I’m very grateful that I could make such a special meal for you and to cook for you because you are always so busy cooking for everyone else. Happy Birthday, Brandon, I love you!

cheers

-Unrivaledkitch

Because I like to cook and eat my own food… My Birthday Dinner and My New Niece Amaya

 

My 28th year is here and I believe it will be (and has been) one of the best years of my life. I’ve undergone and am still undergoing a great transformation in my life—learning so much about myself, my relationships with others, my yoga practice, my cooking, and overall my whole life and I’m so grateful for this beautiful chance to be myself.  My birthday was on August 20th and it was a beautiful day filled with yoga. Teaching seniors, kids and practicing yoga with incarcerated youth really puts life into perspective. I’m so amazed by the people in my life, especially my yoga students who are more like my teachers than my students because they always show me something new, sometimes challenging, and exciting about life.

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I’m so lucky to have my whole family be so close to me and so supportive of my choices in life— I know a lot of people may not be so lucky. My sister and niece made me a gorgeous card, breakfast and lunch, and hung balloons from the ceiling for a most festive atmosphere. My mom and dad bought me the most heartfelt card and some awesome new yoga clothes, seeing as I can never get enough of those. My brother and sister-in-law sent me the funniest card and sweet gift. But I’d have to say my brother-in-law and sister gave me and our family one of the most precious gifts of all: my new niece, Amaya Sayuri, who was born on 8/15, just one day after my mom’s birthday. Both my grandmas sent me wonderful cards with lovely messages of love. More than anything, I’ve felt the most love in my life and it feels really amazing to be able to share that love with everyone.

 

Brandon never fails to impress me with how amazingly well he knows my taste. He made the most gorgeous farmers’ market basket for me with all types of delicious fresh seasonal fruits and vegetables and a beautiful big bouquet of lilies that just blew me away. Also, a really great planner to keep me organized in all my endeavors and such a sincerely thoughtful card. With everything he has to do, all the hard work he puts in every day at his demanding job, he makes me feel special in a way no one else ever has and I love him so much for it.

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What I wanted for my birthday is what I always want—to be around the people I love and share food with them—and that’s just what we did. Brandon and I made a delicious meal for my family using my favorite white platters, large serving bowls and fancy family-style plating for all of us to enjoy the delicious items that Brandon bought at the Santa Barbara Farmers’ Market.  My family jokes that I always want to cook for my own birthday, but like I always tell my sister, “I enjoy making and eating my own food” and if Brandon helps me, it’s even better. My brother bought me an ice cream cake and Maleeya sang me happy birthday about 20 times.  I’m so glad we could all celebrate together, be together and see our family grow and expand our love to our new little addition.

 

 

 

Menu

 

Roasted Mushroom Marsala Cream Grilled Pork Chops

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Herb Grilled New York Steaks

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Heirloom Tomato Summer Salad with Mozzarella, Cucumbers, Basil and Extra Virgin Olive Oil

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Grilled Purple Baby Artichokes with Garlic and Olive Oil

 

Sautéed Rainbow Chard with Italian Sausage

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Steamed Broccoli and Peas

Roasted Squash and Heirloom Purple Bell Peppers

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Sesame Cider Coleslaw with Scallions and Fresh Peas

 

Herb Focaccia

 

 

 

Thank you to everyone who journeyed with us on this very special day in my life and welcome beautiful little Amaya.





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Cheers

-Unrivaledkitch

 

 

 

Granny’s 80th Birthday Celebration and Catering

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My grandma is a very special woman. She’s such a loving, kind, strong and wonderful person and we were very happy to host her 80th birthday celebration for all of her friends and family. Granny has always been the talk of the town and never met someone she couldn’t charm or take a photograph of. Her personality is best displayed when she played Choco, the adorable little bear mascot for Children’s Hospital of Orange County. Her dancing and friendly waves along with blowing kisses to all the children, led her to be requested put on the suit well into her late 70s.

My sister, my brother and I spent countless hours with grandma when we were little. We’d get picked up and taken all the way out to Huntington Beach to stay with grandma for the weekend; some of my fondest memories as a little kid are feeding the ducks at the park, eating toast and tea for breakfast and having French bread and string cheese for snacks. I associate a lot of joyful activities with food as you can see. Grandma was never short on hugs and kisses or presents and spoiling and she’s passed down the fun to my little niece Maleeya. Grandma has the biggest heart and the attitude of someone half her age. Believe it or not, she still cruises out to Vegas in her Corolla on a whim and vacations whenever she can, all between traveling back and forth to come to visit all of us (over 100 miles away roundtrip).

Brandon and I put on a very special catering for all the guests and we were very happy with the outcome. Brandon was in charge of pastries and I helped him assemble some of them, while I took on the savory options, which he lent a big hand in helping with as well. My mom was assigned the snacks department and made our family’s favorite macaroni and potato salad, homemade beans for the chili and mini lemon cupcakes. My sister made the beautiful flower arrangements, all the gorgeous decorations and photo collages. My dad, brother, sister-in-law, brother-in-law and everyone else helped out so much to make this a beautiful, delicious, smooth event for everyone involved. I’m so glad I have this amazing family to call my own. I want to thank everyone who came, who helped, and who made this amazing event happen.
Happy 80th Birthday, Granny! We all love you so much!
Ruthie’s 80th Birthday Party Menu

Appetizers
Fruit Platter
Vegetable Platter
Chips and Dip

Salads
Macaroni Salad
Potato Salad
Baby Mixed Greens with Shredded Cucumber, Mozzarella Cheese, Diced Tomatoes, Pickled Red Onions and Blue Cheese Dressing

Entrées: Served Family-Style
Roasted Pulled Pork
Country Spiced Fried Chicken
Homemade Chili Beans

Sides
Mashed Potatoes and Chicken Gravy
Peanut Coleslaw with Red and Green Cabbage, Shredded Carrots, Green Onions and Asian Dressing
Roasted Corn on the Cob
Roasted Sweet Potatoes with Orange Honey Glaze and Marshmallows

Bread Basket
Corn Bread Muffins
Rolls

Dessert Bar
Lemon Meringue Pie
Banana Cream Pudding
Lemon Cupcakes
Cream Puffs

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unrivaledkitch